Bastrop ISD is piloting a savvy 21st Century social media learning program, YouTube EDU, to enhance the educational experience.
The initiative will run through the end of this school year, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
On April 15, the district announced that students in grades K-12 could access the education-specific version of the popular media streaming site YouTube. The Statesman also noted that students grade 9-12 would also “be able to view Twitter and Facebook posts from faculty members through the pilot program, providing teachers with an additional channel of communication with their students.”
Donald Williams, Bastrop ISD Executive Director of Community Services & Communications told Breitbart Texas that the intention is to make the program permanent. He said, “Overall, we have received lots of positive feedback. Teachers are excited to have an additional tool to use in the classroom.”
The role of technology in the classroom is the marvel of modern times in how it informs, entertains and brings a lesson to life. However, it also raises concerns over internet safety and privacy issues, especially when YouTube EDU notes on their website that once activated by a school, students “at any grade level” are able to access the content.
Breitbart Texas spoke with YouTube spokeswoman Zayna Aston to learn more about social media safeguards and also, about the content. Aston defined the program as “a platform of education channel content providers in the US and worldwide” that includes 130 colleges and universities. She stated that YouTube EDU services an international, and not only an American, audience. Their global partners also drive their content offerings.
On the website, YouTube EDU highlights that they are teacher-friendly, aligning with common educational standards; however, since Texas rejected the Common Core standards Breitbart Texas asked Aston about Common Core content integration into YouTube EDU.
She told Breitbart Texas, “we’ve also worked with a group of teachers to put together playlists of partner videos that align with the Common Core standards. So far we’ve curated over 300 playlists that are broken out by subject–Math, Science, Social Studies and English Language Arts–and by age. All of these playlists are viewable through YouTube for Schools and can be accessed at YouTube.com/teachers.”